After considering a pool of statewide candidates, the Florida Education Fund has selected Dr. Elena Bastida of the FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work to receive the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award for 2016.
Dr. Bastida, Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, joined the FIU Stempel College in 2010. Her research focuses on health disparities, aging, religion, population and community health. She has conducted several National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported studies on Latino aging and health. She led the 12year Border Epidemiologic Study on Aging (NIH-BESA) and she is part of a team of FIU researcher who were recently awarded a $9.5 million National Institute on Minority and Health Disparities (NIMHD) endowment to establish a program focused on preventing and treating obesity, diabetes, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.
For Dr. Bastida, research is essential; but so is teaching and mentoring. This explains why she has received statewide and national recognition with two national role model awards for research mentoring of minority students and why she was selected for the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award.
As a not-for-profit corporation established in 1984, the Florida Education Fund has a statewide mission with a national impact by providing an avenue to ensure that educational advancement of minorities. The William R. Jones Award is the highest honor awarded by the organization to those who help minority students. Dr. Bastida will be presented the award at the Annual McKnight Doctoral Fellows Conference to be held in Tampa mid-November.
When asked about the award, Dr. Bastida said, “I am very honored and humbled by the nomination and the choice. Teaching has been central not just to my profession, but to my personal development. I have learned a great deal from my students in and out of the class; they have been a major influence on my life.